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October 20th, 1999

[2:00 PM] XLR8 First To Ship G4 Upgrades, Include AltiVec Enabling Software

XLR8 has beat the rest of the upgrade manufacturers to market by being the first to ship a G4 upgrade card. The company has announced that its MACh Carrier G4 and MACh Speed G4z cards are shipping this week. XLR8 has also announced that they are including software with the cards that allow Photoshop 3 and 4 to take advantage of AltiVec, or Velocity Engine as it is now called. According to XLR8 (and there is a lot of information here):

XLR8 announced the imminent shipping of their latest G4 processor upgrades: the XLR8 350 MHz MACh Carrier G4 and, the XLR8 350 MHz MACh Speed G4z

These new upgrades utilize the new PowerPC 7400 (G4) processor to deliver supercomputing levels of performance for Apple PowerMac systems (7300 through G3) and most clones. Both upgrades provide high-speed 350 MHz G4 performance, with a 1 megabyte backside cache running at 233 MHz. XLR8 further delivers exclusive levels of performance with its own Photoshop extensions, the XLR8 Velocity Extensions.

This AltiVec enabling software boosts the performance Adobe Photoshop 3.0 and 4.0.

All XLR8 upgrades include XLR8 MVP

(Multiple Variable Processing) technology. This exclusive technology provides additional performance options, and allows a single card to be utilized across a wide range of systems. To change from the default system, MVP is easily configured for a different system simply by changing its switch/jumper settings. All other performance settings are configured automatically via XLR8's Auto Caching Technology.

The PowerPC 7400 (G4) is the most advanced personal computing CPU available today. The new G4 CPU is fully compatible with Mac OS versions 8.6 and above. It also delivers additional performance compatibility in Mac OS 9, by utilizing the G4's built in AltiVec performance unit (trademarked Velocity Engine by Apple). Additional information on the specifics of G4 performance and advancements are available via XLR8's G4 Upgrade White Paper. XLR8 further enhances performance of its G4 upgrades by including its own AltiVec extensions, which it calls XLR8 Velocity Extensions.

Currently, the Velocity Extensions provide increased performance for Photoshop 3.0 and 4.0, with Adobe's own extensions delivering performance for Photoshop 5.0 and up. XLR8 plans to continue development of XLR8 Velocity Extensions for other applications and technologies, further enhancing the value and performance of XLR8's G4 family of upgrades.

350 MHz MACh Carrier G4

This 350 MHz G4 upgrade joins the previously announced 400 MHz and 450 MHz G4 upgrades. As the first G4 upgrade shipping, the MACh Carrier provides instant access to G4 performance options. Its patent pending design allows users to upgrade later to even faster G4 speeds simply by swapping the ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) CPU daughtercard. The MACh Carrier G4 provides full G4 compatibility for the Power Mac 7300-9600, UMAX S900/J700, PowerComputing PowerTower Pro and PowerWave, as well as DayStar Genesis MP (720 up) and Millennium systems.

350 MHz MACh Speed G4z

The 350 MHz MACh Speed G4z upgrade joins the previously announced 400 MHz and 450 MHz G4 ZIF upgrades. These upgrades deliver full G4 compatibility for all Power Macintosh G3 systems including the "G4 challenged" Blue & White Power Macintosh G3. The MACh Speed G4z is a state-of the-art ZIF CPU daughtercard that follows Apple's standard form factor specifications. XLR8 includes performance and compatibility software that allows the MACh Speed G4z to out perform all existing 350 MHz G4 systems and upgrades running Adobe Photoshop 3.0 or 4.0. The MACh Speed G4z is also compatible with XLR8's CarrierZIF upgrade adapter, providing a low-cost CPU upgrade for owners of XLR8's MACh Carrier G3 upgrades.

The 350 MHz MACh Carrier G4 is priced at US$749 and the 350 MHz MACh Speed G4z is priced at US$649. Both cards are shipping this week. You can find more information at the company's web site, though the products page seems to be blank as of this writing.


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